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Hello :) - Carers UK Forum

Hello :)

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
Hi all

Been lurking quite a bit over the last couple of days and thought it was about time to take the plunge.

I'm Jackie, 38 living in Essex with my hubby Andy and my mum.

I was a carer for my dad at the age of 14. My grandad, nan and my dad all died within 15 weeks of each other in 1997. This lead to me being put on Prozac for severe depression and anxiety. I then got together with my hubby (who is the absolute love of my life). He moved in with me and my Mum and we got married in 2000. I then got diagnosed with diabetes and PCOS. This in turn lead me to fall apart yet again and was put on Seroxat. To cut a long story short, I'm now disabled, and mum's got either MID or Altz. She's got her first Memory clinic appt on the 22nd of this month. She's on aspirin and cholesterol tablets at the moment, as well as taking Rhodolia Rosea. She's just turned 70.

She's had symptoms of memory loss now since December 2008 after falling in the bath after we moved here, and cracking her head open (well about a 3 inch gash at the front of her head) in the April. Hospital just patched her up and sent her home and it wasn't until December when I started to notice she was having memory problems.

Anyway, it had taken me a year to get her to see the doctor who referred her for an MRI scan, which she fought me over going to, and then we had to chase him up for the results. Initially they told her nothing was wrong but he told me that she had small white spots on the scan and that meant that she had MID. Anyway, didn't go back again (mainly because each time I made an appointment she wouldn't go) until February this year when I went back to see him with my hubby and told him that she was getting worse. He then prescribed the aspirin and cholesterol tablets.

We went back about 8 weeks ago as I was still not satisfied they were doing enough, and now she has her memory clinic appointment (she cancelled her first one when they phoned up and asked her to come down as she told them that she was "alright now" and didn't need one.

While this is all going on, I've got to try and help myself get better too as I'm diabetic, depressed, anxiety sufferer with severe asthma and awaiting a gastric band due to comfort eating so much after my dad died 12 years ago which has lead me to put on 12 stone in weight. My anxiety is really bad as is my depression (plus I have PMDD too) and my diabetes isn't that under control as much as it should be. I'm housebound myself so I never seem to get a break.

Mum is very headstrong and has always been a bit of a control freak so but has never been aggressive towards me which she was at the beginning and as I'm disabled, she's always looked after me. I am devestated at what it's done to her as she's normally the most caring person I've ever met and when my grandad came to live with us, she was his carer while I was my dad's, she was also a care assistant employed by the council where we used to live and if I had a cold she'd be tucking me up in bed with a warm drink. Everyone where we used to live absolutely adored her and were really upset when we moved (which we had to as we had a second mortgage which we couldn't afford to keep paying so moved to the coast to a bigger house albeit a lot cheaper. Now if I have a problem about anything I can't turn to her as I might as well be talking to the wall for all the good it does.

She complains at the amount of money she pays me for bills (which is only £400 a month) and around the time she gets her pension will literally turn on me saying that all I want her for is her money, which I don't anyway. She'll throw and almighty tantrum, have me in tears about it and then 10 mins later will ask me why I've been crying for me then to tell her and for her to tell me I'm a liar as she'd "never ever say things like that" to me. Which ordinarily she wouldn't anyway. We've always been like sisters but now it's like for 2 days out of every month I'm her enemy wanting all her money, and for the rest of the month she's trying to throw money at me as she knows how much we struggle. Then it comes round to her pension day again where "I don't want to leave her much pocket money" as I "take it for myself". Yeah, right, I've got bugger all to show for it if I did.

I contacted my estranged sister (who stopped talking to me and Mum after my dad died) about mum when she started to "go funny" back in December, and managed to get her and mum to meet up again as I thought that if anything happened it was only right, but my sister (who is much older than me) just spent the meeting laughing at mum stumbling over her words which I found incredibly upsetting to say the least, so I haven't bothered since. I've got no family here, apart from my hubby. So I've really got no one to turn to. I spend most of my day biting my tongue when mum says for the 40th time in a day "where's so and so" - the dog mostly. Or if I hear for the 100th time "I'm getting better, stop worrying about me" as she wanders around counting the dogs for the 20th time.

I'm literally in pieces at what's happening to her and I can't seem to solve it. I've always been the one to solve problems but I can't solve this one and I'm beating myself up about it. Hubby listens but all he offers are solutions that I can't or won't do. I just want a cuddle and for someone to tell me it'll be alright.

Mum does go out by herself though as she can still drive and is quite ok to go out shopping and stuff, but I'm falling to pieces inside. I love my mum so much, and it's heartbreaking to see her struggling. She used to be in the kitchen cooking, out with friends, doing allsorts, now if she's not sitting outside smoking (which she took up again to calm her down) she's watching bloody Poirot for the upteeth time on some crappy +1 channel. Then moans she's bored. She won't go out and meet new people either. And as for getting someone in to check if she's alright so we can go away for a few days - impossible. She doesn't think there's anything wrong so berates me if I mention anything.

Anyway, that's me, sorry for the little rant, but like I say, I've got no one to talk to, and when I call our local Altz place, they want me to come down and see them, which I can't and Mum won't let them in the house so I'm kind of stuck.

Love to everyone else going through this, I just never realised it would affect me so much.

Jackie x
Hi Jackie and welcome to the forum. There's plenty of support and advice to be found on here and lots of lovely friendly people. I was main carer for my Nan and ended up with both my Nan's passing away within 7 weeks of each other.
Have you had a carers assessment done to assess your needs? It would also be worth you getting a benefit check done to see if you and your Mum are getting all you're entitled to.

Hi Karen,

No I haven't had an assessment as yet but when Mum had the accident I did get Social Services in to get some type of shower installed, however when the woman at Social Services saw me and how physically I wasn't coping, lead to them contacting the Trust people here, who got a shower put in for me instead, and got me disability living allowance. Once Mum goes to the memory clinic and hopefully we get a better diagnosis then I will contact them again as I know that I might not be able to cope further along the line. Mum gets DLA and has done since dad died as she has severe spondilytus (??) so sometimes can walk and sometimes can't walk at all without being in awful pain (this also doesn't help because the meds they gave her for that initially, when she started getting memory problems also lead to her becoming really violent with me) but when I stopped her taking them, she stopped the violence. Not sure what else we could claim but will get the Social Services back to see if we can get any more help. Even for someone to sit with her a couple of hours a week so my hubby and me could go out for a drive would be nice.

Jackie x
Hello there and welcome to the forum xx
Welcome Lonelybunny Image
Hello Jackie - welcome to this little 'home from home'. Image You have a lot to cope with, and yes, it's an awful feeling to see a Mother end up like yours. I can relate to that too!
There are many people on here going through the same sort of feelings - I say feelings, as our circumstances may be all different, but the feelings are the same.
There is understanding here and no judgement is made.
Hope you come to feel as if this is your little 'home from home', too x
Hi Jackie and welcome Image
Welcome to the forum Jackie, so sorry to hear everything that has happened over the years, i hope you find some comfort ,support and advice here xx Image